Lenten Reflection 3-4-22

Lenten Offering Day 3 - by Kim Wu

Psalm 73:25-28 “Whom have I in heaven but you?  And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Indeed, those who are far from you will perish; you put an end to those who are false to you.  But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, to tell of all your works.”

I used to think Lent was mostly about self-denial.  Suffering in some (small) way while Jesus suffered on the cross, as some (again, small) way to make things right with Him.  And as one who adores and craves chocolate, that seemed like the obvious choice, and it’s what I have given up several times over the years.

But I’ve come to see Lent differently.

Lent is a time to reflect on all that Jesus has done for me through his life, death, and resurrection, and how He calls me to live an abundant life.   “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b)

It’s a time for opening up our hearts to see what’s inside.  “Let it crack open.  Let it fall apart so that you can see its secret chambers, the hidden spaces where you have hesitated to go.” (“Rend Your Heart”, by Jan Richardson)

What or who am I longing for, and is the way I am ordering my life right now going to take me there?

And this is where giving something up for Lent comes into play.  Giving up something is not self-denial for self-denial’s sake.  Giving up something allows me to reorder my life’s priorities.  The same can be said for adding something.  Adding in a new spiritual practice, for example, or recommitting to one that has fallen by the wayside, helps me reset my priorities and recommit myself to God.

“And so let this be a season for wandering, for trusting the breaking, for tracing the tear that will return you to the One who waits, who watches, who works within the rending to make your heart whole.”  (“Rend Your Heart”)

Heavenly Father, create in me a clean heart, and put a new and steadfast spirit within me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, through the blood of Your Son, and sustain in me a willing spirit.  (Psalm 51:10-11)

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